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Undue Influence: What Every Estate Planner Should Know

Understanding the many reasons as to why people initiate a will or a trust following a loved one's death, among that undue influence is one of the most common.

Due in part to the rapid growth of our country's aging population, many vulnerable adults are falling prey to the undue influence of others. Undue influence is (intentional or unintentional) conduct that supplants the will and the true intentions of the vulnerable adult with the will of the 'trusted' perpetrator. Undue influence is usually not a single event; rather, it is a process which is generally conducted in secret and therefore must be proved by circumstantial evidence. If lawyers or other professionals engaged in the estate planning process fail to understand and recognize undue influence and to adhere to practices that could be utilized during the planning process for a vulnerable adult, these professionals may well find themselves on the wrong side of a contest proceeding or otherwise unable to defend the independence and validity of a client's estate plan. In such instances, the failure to take simple precautions and adequately document the process utilized to assess capacity and the absence of undue influence may well undercut the ability to defend the plan. This topic is intended to educate you on the basics of undue influence and address issues that can arise during the litigation of such claims. The information will assist practitioners in identifying vulnerabilities and many of the indicia or 'red flags' of undue influence. It will also provide insight into actions which estate planners might engage that could result in protection of the plan. It will also help in clarifying the often confused distinction between competency and undue influence. This content will also provide a greater understanding of many of the ins and outs of undue influence contests.

Runtime: 88 minutes
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Over 31 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Agenda

Undue Influence

  • Why It's Important for Estate Planners to Understand Undue Influence
  • What Is Undue Influence?
  • The Potential Implications of Diminished Capacity
  • Not All Influence Is Undue

The Presumption of Undue Influence

  • Importance of the Presumption
  • Requirements to Establish the Presumption
  • Marital Relationships and the Presumption

'Indicia' or 'Red Flags' of Undue Influence

  • Resources Available to Help Identify Possible Indicia of Undue Influence
  • Suspicious Circumstances of Undue Influence--the Key Concepts

Evidentiary Considerations

  • Undue Influence Cases Are Fact Specific
  • Quality of Evidence vs. Quantity
  • Importance of Lawyers Exercising Independent Judgment
  • Relaxed Rules of Relevancy and Admissibility

Importance of Understanding the Medical Evidence

  • Potential Impact of Vulnerabilities
  • Medical Informed Consent
  • When a Professional Assessment of a Vulnerable Client Might Be Merited

Use of Experts

  • Role of Experts in Undue Influence Cases
  • Pre and Post-Mortem Retention of Geriatric or Other Qualified Forensic Professionals

Important Actions for Estate Planners to Consider

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Why Lorman?

Over 31 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

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OnDemand Webinar

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

Audio & Reference Manual

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

MP3 Download

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

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Why Lorman?

Over 31 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Faculty

Thomas M. Dixon, Esq.

Thomas M. Dixon, Esq.

Clark Hill PLC

  • Partner with Clark Hill PLC practicing out of its Detroit, Michigan office
  • Trial lawyer and heads Clark Hill’s Litigation Practice Group firm-wide
  • Specializes in will, trust, estate and probate litigation involving claims of undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, fraud, and duress
  • Achieved the highest rating with Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • J.D. degree, Notre Dame University; B.G.S. degree, University of Michigan
  • Can be contacted at 313-965-8587
Sandra D. Glazier, Esq.

Sandra D. Glazier, Esq.

Lipson Neilson Cole Seltzer & Garin PC

  • Shareholder with Lipson, Neilson, Cole, Seltzer & Garin PC
  • Concentrates practices in estate planning, estate and trust administration, probate litigation, pre and post nuptial agreements, and high net worth divorce
  • Past chairperson of the Oakland County Bar Assn’s (OCBA) Probate (2015-16) and Family Court (1998-99) Committees
  • Achieved the highest rating with Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • J.D. degree, Wayne State University; B.A. degree, with high distinction, Wayne State University
  • Can be contacted at 248-593-5000 or [email protected]

Sandy and Tom have each published articles and given presentations on undue influence for: Bloomberg BNA; Trust & Estates Magazine; ABA; Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute; Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium; Michigan Institute of Continuing Education; OCBA Probate Committee; Wayne County Probate Court Appointed Lawyer’s Training Program; Wilmington Trust’s New York Estate Planners Symposium; State Bar of Michigan Probate and Estate Planning Journal

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Product ID: 401679
Published 2017
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